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  • Townshend Podiums with ATC towers

    I have been using the Herbies Giant Gliders with my SCM100 towers which (unsurprisingly) I found to be an improvement over standard furniture gliders. I've also previously tried the Isoacoustics Gaia 1 which for whatever reason didn't impress me that much - though a lot of people seem to like them.

    Anyway I've been curious for some time about the Townshend Podiums and the positive TAS review with SCM50 towers indicated they would probably work well with my 100's.
    I received my podiums yesterday and set them up. They look pretty good with the SCM100 towers, though the big footprint may need to be taken into account. I suspect for most owners of big ATCs this won't be an issue as they'll have space around their speakers i.e. they won't be pushed into corners or really close to walls.

    Speaker height is raised about 30mm, slightly higher than the Herbies at 20mm. I positioned the speakers/podiums in exactly the same position as with the Herbies. I measured to the speaker edges from side and front walls to ensure there was no positional change that would influence my listening.
    The speakers on the podiums will move at a low frequency when physically pushed but otherwise appear very stable on the platforms (they actually won't tilt very much even when pushed, they 'float' on the springs but there is limited compression movement).

    The Podiums make a substantial improvement over the Herbies footers, which they ought to given the relative price points.
    The podiums provide more depth and overall clarity to the soundspace and instruments/performers within. The separation of instruments is better both in terms of space and differentiation of tonal qualities/detail. Its essentially easier to hear what is playing and how its being played and everything remains clearer during busier music passages. There is greater naturalness and realism.
    There doesn't appear to be any downside. There is no blunting of transients and bass is actually denser - more solid, detailed and less blurred.
    Very good improvement if within your budget and can accommodate the footprint.
    I posted some photos here if anyone is interested.
    Last edited by Tobes; 09-12-2021, 12:54 AM. Reason: fixed some grammar, punctuation and clarified some sentences

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tobes View Post
    I posted some photos here if anyone is interested.
    The fit looks very nice indeed. And the engineering of the Townshend Podiums to achieve isolation seems spot on to me.

    I wonder if you wouldn't mind saying what construction your floor is. My engineering background suggests to me that what isolation does may depend on floor type so please forgive my technical curiosity.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jophill View Post
      The fit looks very nice indeed. And the engineering of the Townshend Podiums to achieve isolation seems spot on to me.

      I wonder if you wouldn't mind saying what construction your floor is. My engineering background suggests to me that what isolation does may depend on floor type so please forgive my technical curiosity.
      The floor is timber boards nailed to battens on concrete slab. If I was doing it again I'd probably have had the boards glued to the slab - the battens add a hollowness to footsteps etc.
      Supposedly the Podiums work very well on all types of flooring, concrete or suspended timber etc. I can't verify that but there are certainly users with concrete/tiled floors that report similar positive results.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tobes View Post

        The floor is timber boards nailed to battens on concrete slab. If I was doing it again I'd probably have had the boards glued to the slab - the battens add a hollowness to footsteps etc.
        Supposedly the Podiums work very well on all types of flooring, concrete or suspended timber etc. I can't verify that but there are certainly users with concrete/tiled floors that report similar positive results.
        Thanks for that.

        I can understand what they do on a fairly elastic suspended floor. That is, stop the floor becoming an uncontrolled/undamped extension to the cabinet and vibrating with the 'speakers. That seems to correspond with the situation you have if I understand correctly.

        On a less elastic floor I am a little less sure. Max Townshend tried once, at a show, to persuade me that they would indeed do something for my SCM50s currently spiked to a carpeted concrete slab with thin flexible underlay. But although I like the engineering of the Podiums he didn't convince me at the time that they would work well in my situation. Nevertheless I am still looking for some more evidence that may persuade me to try.

        Ben Lilly puts forward his view of isolation products here: Making HiFi Speakers & Systems for over 45 Years ATC Loudspeakers LIVE - YouTube (at circa 1:06:45).

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        • #5
          What do you make of the Townshend videos that show Max stamping on a concrete floor and vibration travelling through the slab to the speaker on spikes - but the podium mounted speaker shows no vibration?
          With a speaker spiked to concrete floor you're attempting to sink energy into the slab and hope no delayed energy is reflected back to the speaker. The Podiums break the connection for that reflected energy and also prevent delayed energy from one speaker travelling to the other speaker - according to Townshend, but supported by the video demos with the vibration app running on ipads.
          If you snoop around other forums you will find users who gained marked improvement with Podiums over spiking to concrete floor. Anecdotal evidence though.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tobes View Post
            What do you make of the Townshend videos that show Max stamping on a concrete floor and vibration travelling through the slab to the speaker on spikes - but the podium mounted speaker shows no vibration?
            I have seen the video (and the actual demo). I am sure the measurement is correct but that does not seem to me to be a problem that needs solving in my situation. There's no-one stamping close to my kit and no other local sources of serious vibration at the point where the speaker is spiked to the floor. There's the refrigerator perhaps, but that's too far away and the mass of the concrete floor is just so much that AFAICS the amplitude from that source will be too low to matter.

            So AFAICS it's about energy being coupled into the floor, rather than the other way round. But I am open to being corrected.

            Originally posted by Tobes View Post
            With a speaker spiked to concrete floor you're attempting to sink energy into the slab and hope no delayed energy is reflected back to the speaker. The Podiums break the connection for that reflected energy and also prevent delayed energy from one speaker travelling to the other speaker - according to Townshend, but supported by the video demos with the vibration app running on ipads.
            If you snoop around other forums you will find users who gained marked improvement with Podiums over spiking to concrete floor. Anecdotal evidence though.
            I don't want to dispute what other people experience and I hope this does not come over as me being rude to you. Of the after-market kit that might have a useful impact, de-coupling with well-engineered isolation like the Podiums comes high up my list of good possibilities - but for solving specific problems. I am interested to see if there is a good argument for my own situation. Hence my interest. I hope my enquiry isn't seen as contradicting you.

            I see the big effect as being where a springy floor coupled to a loudspeaker can act a bit like a piano soundboard. So I am sure de-coupling there is a good idea. But piano soundboards are made from wood, not concrete. So AFAICS with my very massy inelastic floor the magnitude of any vibration coupled into the floor will be too small to worry about either from the floor vibrating like a soundboard or from energy reflected back to where it came from in the first place. However, again, I am open to being corrected.

            With a floor like yours I would certainly try de-coupling. However, experimenting where I currently see only a low chance of success in my particular situation is something I have done in the past but not now. Nevertheless if I find I have missed a good argument I am open to changing my mind and trying.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jophill View Post
              There's no-one stamping close to my kit and no other local sources of serious vibration at the point where the speaker is spiked to the floor.
              I think the point is that the 'serious vibration' is the speaker itself, not some other external source.

              As I said above there is anecdotal evidence in other Townshend threads of people getting similarly good results vs spiking to concrete floors.
              Even users with crazily inert cabinets, like Wilson and Magico, have achieved better results with podiums vs spiking.

              As with all components or tweaks, no-one can guarantee how you will react to the change in your system. The Podiums are an expensive item so it's wise to investigate thoroughly before any purchase.

              Comment

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